New bank capital rules softened to ease European fears: sources

LONDON (Reuters) - Global banking regulators have softened proposed new capital rules in a bid to ease European concerns that piling on requirements would cause banks to crimp their lending, three sources familiar with the discussions said on Tuesday.

The Basel Committee of banking supervisors from nearly 30 countries met in Chile last month to complete new bank capital rules used by lenders in the world’s major financial centers.

Among the most contentious elements, Basel proposed a “floor” for capital, which sources said Basel members have now agreed to change. They have also reached a preliminary deal on setting higher leverage ratios for the world’s 30 top lenders.

Basel’s compromises, which could still change, will need endorsement from the committee’s oversight body, which is expected to meet on January 8.

The Basel Committee had no comment.

Editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith